ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Thursday said he would carry on with his scheduled protest march against drone strikes into Waziristan despite death threats from Pakistani Taliban, while a Taliban spokesman said the militants will hold a meeting to decide whether the cricket star-turned-politician will be allowed to hold a planned march into their tribal stronghold. In a statement issued on Thursday, Imran said that he will never hesitate to sacrifice his life for a noble cause. Commenting on an Associated Press interview of Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan the other day warning of suicide attacks against him, Imran said that the protest march in Miranshah will be held as per schedule on September 23 to raise voice for the innocent people of the area who have been targeted in drone attacks.
“Life and death is in God’s hands……anyone who believes in Allah knows death is eternal and it will come on fixed time,” said the PTI chief, adding that he is not concerned over authenticity of the statements from Taliban. Commenting on the statement of calling him liberal, Imran said, “Allah knows the reality and what is in my heart.” Meanwhile, Taliban spokesman Ehsan denied the death threat reported earlier by The Associated Press. The Pakistani Taliban leadership council “will decide what to do a week before his arrival and will announce it,” Ahsan told the AP by email. “It’s sure and clear that we don’t have any sympathy with Imran Khan, neither do we need his sympathy, as he himself claims to be a liberal, and we see liberals as infidels.” The AP reported Wednesday that the Taliban would target Khan with suicide bombers if he held his march, following an interview with Ehsan in a remote area of their militant stronghold of South Waziristan.